Condo residents want HOA to stop lights from shining into their home

A light shines at night outside the Bigbees third floor residence. [Lee Bigbee]

By Diane Emeott-Korzen | New Pelican Writer

Deerfield Beach – Lee and Deborah Bigbee have a problem with the security lights installed about 18 months ago outside their Penthouse North condo, shining into their living and sleeping spaces and keeping them awake at night.

The lights were installed for security and safety purposes, about 25 or 30 feet from the ground. The Bigbees live on the third floor.

HOA President Jim Murray said the lights are shining away from the Bigbees but are reflecting off the palm trees.

The couple alleges the lights were installed without permits. “The homeowners association here [at Penthouse North] put up lights right outside our window. And they did it without a permit.” 

On Nov. 15, 2022, a building permit was filed to install two LED wall pack fixtures on the building. Murray says the permit is still pending. He estimates the lighting was installed in May of 2021.

Failure to obtain a permit can result in the offender paying double the usual fee.

“These lights were installed to replace lights that stopped working. It was a minor installation. I was not aware a permit was necessary,” Murray said.

According to Planning and Development Services Director Eric Power, the type of lighting determines if a permit is necessary. “A simple rule is, if you can plug into an outlet, it does not need a permit. But if you need to mount it to a wall with screws or some other permanent means, a permit may be required,” he said. “Also, please note that excessive lighting can be a yard encroachment and if you have neighbors complaining about the security lights, it can become an issue with the city.”

  • The side view of the security light outside the window of the Bigbees condo. [Lee Bigbee]

  • The outdoor security light is visible inside the Bigbees residence. [Lee Bigbee]

On Nov. 29 the city sent notice of a code violation to Penthouse North Association, Inc. regarding Bigbees complaint, stating the need for correction for “light encroachment.” It states, “Please make the proper arrangements to shield the light direction into the unit.”

The document sets a Jan. 25 hearing before a special magistrate if the violations are corrected by then. The Bigbees have hired a lawyer “to help guide us in this battle.” Lee said he wants to make sure he is doing things right and that the lawyer will seek a solution with the homeowners’ board.

Murray said he is aware of the deadline. “I’ve already made arrangements to have the lights changed. Regarding a timeline, “I know the permit was not closed out yet and I’m sure we will need a permit to make any changes.”

Murray said most people like the lights. The area is dark and there are no streetlights. Women were afraid to get out of their cars at night.

Lee Bigbee was one of the people sending emails to put in security lights after alerting the board that he saw teenagers trying door handles in the carport. Thieves will often crouch in between cars and try random door handles to see which vehicles are easy to access.

Asked if he had spoken with other neighbors to see if the lights are bothersome, Lee Bigbee said the person on the second floor comes here only two weeks a year; the person on the first floor keeps his blinds closed day and night.”

4 responses to “Condo residents want HOA to stop lights from shining into their home”

  1. Mary says:

    This is an example of condominium bullying, whose egos are more inflamed then their fibromyalgia. Do things properly and with kindness… the narcissistic generation needs to level up, seek help with a qualified trauma therapist for control issues, practice mindfulness and heal for goodness sakes people. Bravo to the Bigbees!

    • Deborah Bigbee says:

      Thank you Mary.

      We are all for security lights just that they are code compliant with what the city dictates.

      The Pelican stated that “The document sets a January 25 hearing before a special magistrate if the violations are corrected by then” It should have been printed if the violations are NOT corrected by then. The association has until January 20, 2023 to correct this issue.

  2. Lee Bigbee says:

    I said yes for security lights. If they are code compliant. There’s nothing code compliant about them.

  3. Paul Goodburn says:

    At a meeting a few years back, we had an officer from BSO, who advised us that we needed more lighting and that it was our best defense against crime in our Condo development. The BOD is only guilty of trying to make Mr. Bigbee safer, as he has stated that he witnessed potential threats on our property. It seems that the BOD at Penthouse North are damned if they do or if they don’t. This is a large complex and we are all in agreement with the BOD lighting decisions. The BOD are voluntarily giving their time up for all of us. I would say that maybe Mr. Bigbee, should run for the Board instead of spending so much time on complaints that are costing the association high Attorney fees.
    Thank You.
    A concerned owner and full time resident of
    PENTHOUSE NORTH ASSOCIATION

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *